Beards, and the men who paint them.

I've always been in awe of beards.  I'm not really ashamed to admin that I've always been a bit jealous of those who can grow dense, long, bear-like beards simply because I wasn't equipped with the hardware to grow one myself.  I mean, I'm not jealous of the maintenance and upkeep, but I definitely hate the idea that I was born without the OPTION to grow one of my own.  Anyway, because I can't look in the mirror everyday and marvel at mine, I marvel at others mens majestical follicle fury. 

Needless to say, I find someone with one who I'm close to and doesn't mind to be painted... I ask.  Definitely not the first time and definitely wont be the last.  

I needed to practice some, and Rolf (my father-in-law) was kind enough to let me paint em!  It was just a study, but a study that was entirely overdue.  Although I began to focus on his beard, his flowing locks stole the show.  

Soon after the painting was done.  He cut his har.  I'm happy I was able to capture his full glory in this painting before he danced with the barber.  

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Brooklyn Children's Book

Now that I have a little boy (Brooklyn), my hands have been tied.  I have now a wife, 2 sons (2 and 4 legs) a job, and no time to myself.  I've been trying to stay loyal to my craft, and my artistic persona by that part of myself always seems to get the shit end of my time stick.  My creativity isn't lessened any, its just ignored more.  What to do?

The easiest, cleanest, mess-free way to satisfy this undying creative hunger that grows within me is to take photos.  I figured that I'd be doing a lot of this anyway with your first born, but having him as a subject to basically capture for the entire family gives this idea purpose.  I'm essentially his personal, professional photographer!  So what do I do with all these photos... Oh, I have an idea. 

The idea started with wanting just to capture images of the copious amounts of adorable clothing we were buying and receiving.  This was a new world to the both of us, and he was growing so rapidly that every time the shutter closed, he'd seem to be larger!  I started throwing a white sheet underneath him to help compliment the clothing and pose.   One day Eva brings home this large IPAD Pro randomly and I start playing with the pen.  I doodle a bit and start making some marks around the images I've been taking then the idea took off....

I've set a deadline for myself to have the book totally designed, written, and at least one copy produced by years end.  From here, I'll began to sell these books on my website, and send them to publishers in hopes of it getting picked up.  I haven't stapled down a finished title at this point, and the layout of the book is almost there.  I'll keep the details secret (along with the latest images) but I'll share below what i've released to social media.  

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Frame Game.

I've always been obsessed with frames.  They are artworks in themselves.  They often times are more jaw dropping then the works they are trying to compliment.  Sometimes I get lost in thinking, "THIS is the frame they chose to compliment THAT" and then that inner battle ensues.  None the less, if done properly, a frame can take a painting from awesome, to a zenith unimagined and unattainable without the frame.  I just consider their powers to be magical. 

When I first moved to San Francisco, I told Eva that I will go out my way to search for ornate, decadent with a flair of arrogant-style frames.  From floral filled, golden corned, wooden sculpted frames from yesteryear, to new-aged lacquered coated frames clearly made in the 2000's, I want them all!  I started out going to local frame shops, and then to flea markets.  Eva was a HUGE help in the department because she works in interior design and knew of all the hole in the wall locations, and flea markets to attend to find the hot shit. 

Once I found a plug for a few that are now, to me, priceless (and not even REMOTELY for sale so don't even bother asking), I then just kept my ears up and eyes peeled for anything that fit the style of the collection that I was trying to build.  

Big shout out to Alameda flea market and Cheap Pete's for helping me get the ball rollin'. 

One of my favorites that I sold before I could even hang it in my house.  From Val and Carolyn from Califonios, great friends of ours. 

One of my favorites that I sold before I could even hang it in my house.  From Val and Carolyn from Califonios, great friends of ours. 

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The kinda detail that I look for. 

The kinda detail that I look for. 

Most recent one that I sold.  This was a commission from start to finish and the client asked for a frame like the ones that I use for my own work. 

Most recent one that I sold.  This was a commission from start to finish and the client asked for a frame like the ones that I use for my own work. 

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Mural - Coin Op, San Francisco.

So I've never done a mural of this size before.  I don't draw with Sharpies a lot (practically never) but didn't think this project posed any difficulties and that drawing with a sharpie would be all that tough.  Boy, I couldn't have been MORE wrong.

I started with working with the ladies @ sfHEIMAT here in San Francisco on drawing to present to the owners at Coin-op.  Eva, my wife, is a co-owner of sfHEIMAT, really helped steer the direction of the process, as the original drawings were designed around the theme presented by the client. Coin-op is a Bar/Arcade.  Don't think "dive bar", though.  It's like a young, professional adults playground.  The custom artwork and interior design elements need to mesh well, and complement one another in a fluent way.  That was the goal.  We settled on the frogger theme.  

The preparation was nuts.  I originally planned to start the project in July, and didn't start until November!  I wasn't able to prepare for this like most other projects because Coin-op was rushing to open and had a house FULL of contractors at any given time.  We all needed to work in harmony, and in some cases, use the same tools.  I also didn't know the bar would be pre-installed, canceling out my plans to project the drawing on the wall and trace the original design. I then decided to project in small sections, and try to stitch them together.   That worked until it didn't, and I just realized that all my planning is failing. It was at that moment, where I just basically said "fuck it", and just DO it!  Figure it out!

From here, I just drew off the cuff with little reference, and no sketch.  Just a whole bunch of rulers, string, and white paint to act as an eraser, and a thousand times up and down the scissor lyft until I completed it.  I have no idea how many hours I spent on it, but I'm pleased with the result.   Let me just say this mural was THE HARDEST thing I've ever done.  Hand down.  It was VERY rewarding, but hard.  Very hard.  

Drawing on the window with a sharpie was a new thing for me.  

Drawing on the window with a sharpie was a new thing for me.  

sfHEIMAT killed these lights, and bar designed. 

sfHEIMAT killed these lights, and bar designed. 

Back breaking cross-hatching.

Back breaking cross-hatching.

From afar. 

From afar. 

Family Painting of Cashus.

I originally did a painting of Cashus when we first got em.  He was much younger, and I was just doing a study and not really a finalized painting.  Even thought we had the PERFECT frame for the painting, I felt it wasn't a final for our home.  All in all, it turned out.  Eva's parent's came to visit and they loved the work (with the painting) and purchased it from me.  The painting currently hangs in their kitchen in Schekon (Switzerland).

After the sketch, (freehanded) I then spray fixed the pencil to seal the marks before acrylics.  The plan was to try and handle this painting the same as I did before, and kinda like I did with the desert works that I was doing in 2015.   

Taking into account the scale, the stature of the pose, the frame, and the intention of the painting, I decided to change up the game.  I started researching baroque portraiture, and paintings from the greats of past noblemen from that time.  John Singer Sargent has always been a favorite of mine, and his technique on handing the background directly influenced the outcome of this painting.  It was then I chose to turn the background a turkey umber/burnt umber mix, that would bring Cashus to the forefront, which enhanced his already regal stance, and draw emphasis to the collar, and light source.  Cooling down the shadow with a thick coat of deep phthalo blue helped make a stark contrast in finish, and in temperature. 

I hung this heavy shit myself.  It had to be about 55lbs.  Purchased something called a "cleat", and a stud finder to make sure it was secure.  The picture isn't the best of the painting, but it's the latest photo of the painting hanging where it lives, and Eva feeding Brooklyn.   Oh, can Cashus' can't be bothered in this photo.  

Pregnancy Photo Progress.

The photo documentation of this pregnancy was interesting.  We tried to stay on it the best that we could, and be consistent.  We also wanted to stay away from the normal postings of pregnancy development that most people show off on pinterest, instagram, etc.  We used natural light, and nothing else but the camera and her disposition.  Here are a few of the standouts. 

Fatherhood.

Fatherhood.  

I know nothing about this phenomenon.  I have no experience with this career change.  I'm a bit worried about the "unknown", but I do know one thing.  That this feeling is to be expected and that I'm not alone.  

I'm EXCITED and I'm seeing myself change everyday, naturally.  I'm doing things a little different than I used to without thinking about them, so I wonder how men change physiologically!?!

Anyway,  I'm over the moon, and I know how lucky we are.  Not everyone is so fortunate and we understand that.  And we are both anxious to bring this baby BOY (yes, it's a boy and I'm not even going to tell you how much that made me happy) into this world, and make him a contributing, and honest member of society.  

I'll try and post more as I gain more to speak about!  Below, you'll be able to see what Eva looks like nowadays. 

And Oh,... we don't have the name finalized yet.  But we are more than happy to hear suggestions!